As I announced a few days ago, today my books are officially free on Amazon.com. Get a copy for your Kindle for free!
Both Volition Agent and Dissolution of Peace are 100% free for Kindle. Please pick up a copy and share the links with your friends. We can make these books top sellers! The are free until Labor Day so get your copies soon!
Last week I didn’t do my normal blog post, the one from the Monday before was very emotionally draining and I needed a break. I wasn’t surprised that post got little attention, even from my friends, but there is still something about laying it all out there that drains you. The good news is I am feeling much better. I wrote more on my work in progress, got a very good review on Dissolution of Peace (see below) and have been working hard to get ready for WorldCon.
For those that don’t know about WorldCon, it is the World Science Fiction Convention. It is held annually and also is the host for the Hugo Awards. I’ve been trying to go to one for three years now. When I first learned about WorldCon, I tried to go to Renovation, but at the last minute I had to cancel. That was a shame because it was only about a four hour drive from my house. Chicago was just not going to happen, the cost was too much. But finally this year I get to go. Lone Star Con 3, in San Antonio looks like a ton of fun. But I made several mistakes that I will have to plan for next year (though I don’t think I will get to London, I hope to get to the North American Science Fiction Convention (takes place when WorldCon is not in North America).
First, I had no idea about the panels. That is to say, I knew that there were discussion panels to see. What I didn’t know was that I could ask to be on them. Second, I delayed to long to get back to them about a signing. Third, I couldn’t get a Dealer’s Table for Plasma Frequency. But, I think this actually works out better. I get to experience the convention, learn all there is to learn about it, and hopefully next year I will know better where I can help out.
I am beyond excited. I’ve got some business cards to hand out for the magazine, and I have some postcards to hand out during the event. The postcards are for my book and they are announcing a way to get both my books free. I’ll explain that more soon.
Whether you are a fan of my books, fan of Plasma Frequency, or a writer/artist looking to talk to me in person about getting your work in Plasma Frequency; I hope you will seek me out. I’d love to meet with writers, artists, and other professionals in the industry. If you see me there, please feel free to say Hello! If I have a moment I would be happy to talk to you. Also, I understand that you can leave a message for me on the Voodoo message board.
While I was not able to get involved in any of the panels as a panelist. I fully plan to attend a lot of convention activities. Below is a list of some of the activities I plan to attend. Of course, I may have to cancel some of these depending on what else I discover. But maybe I will see some of you at these. (Sorry if I butchered any of the panel names, I wrote them from my memory).
4pm Self Promotion
5pm Opening Ceremonies
9pm Best Practices for Booksellers
4pm The Romance of Military SF
5pm How Magazines are Changing in a Digital World
8pm How to build a Book Campain
11am How to Write a Short Story
12pm Planning a Starship
2pm LSC3 Film Festival
4pm The shift for Print to Electronic
5pm Writing Combat
10am Mars and/or Bust
11am Should SF consider the Furture
2pm Real Animals in a Fantasy World
5pm Extend your book into Social Media
8pm Hugo Awards
10am Writing outside Genre
12pm Armed Society is a Polite Society
3pm Closing Ceremonies
The rest of the time I will be either moving around the convention to see the exhibits or out sightseeing in San Antonio. I plan to spend some time at the Riverwalk, the Tower of the Americas and the Alamo. When I get back, I plan to write a blog post all about my experiences there. I’ll also be on my Twitter and Facebook with updates of where I am and what I am seeing. I also will have an article in Issue 8 of Plasma Frequency all about the trip.
Get My Books Free!
In honor of my first WorldCon and because I can’t think of a better way to get the attention of a ton of Science Fiction readers, I have made Dissolution of Peace and Volition Agent free for Kindle from August 29th to September 2nd. Five full days to celebrate my books and WorldCon. I would really like to see my book make some “Top Seller” lists on Amazon. My readers did wonders with Dissolution of Peace on its first free day. So please spread the word that these books are going to be free on Amazon. The more people who know the better! Thank you!
New Dissolution of Peace Review!
Bookworm Babblings reviewed Dissolution of Peace today! They were very excited about this book and said some excellent things. It really brightened my mood. Please go give it a read, and leave a comment if you’d like.
Hope to see some of you at WorldCon! See you next week for my post about the trip!
Dissolution of Peace Spring Blog Tour is official!
I am going on a blog book tour with Dissolution of Peace. The book and I will be traveling through the virtual world to attend various blogs to spread the word about my book. I’m excited about this since it will allow me to share a little bit about me and the book with a new audience. You can visit these blogs and see interviews, guest posts, and book reviews. I will be on tour from April 8th until May 13th this year!
As I mentioned above I will be traveling blog to blog from April 8th until May 13th. There are still a number of dates available so if you would like to get in on the tour, it isn’t too late. There are still several open dates available. If you want one, just go here (link) and pick a date. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see “Would you like to host this author on your blog?” Click the link and sign up.
The folks over at Orangeberry Book Tours are hosting this tour for me. They’ve taken a ton of the work out of it so I just get to hang out at various blogs. While I will try to keep the listed dates below updated, for the most current dates and locations visit my Tour page.
While I hope you will go check out each blog host before and after my posts, I will be posting links to blog tour posts throughout the tour on my Facebook and Twitter pages. So if you don’t follow me there, please do.
Book Feature: A quick feature just announcing the basics about Dissolution of Peace
Twitter View: A interview with me over Twitter. I’ll be off work so I am going to do my best to answer these questions live.
Twitter Blast: A collection of book quotes sent out via Twitter. Please RT the heck out of those. 🙂
Book Review: Just that, a review of Dissolution of Peace
Author Interview: An interview with me, posted on their blog.
Guest Post: This is a post I write for their blog, as a guest.
Tour Dates and Locations:
8th April – Book Feature at Peace from Pieces
9th April – Twitter View with OB Book Tours
10th April – Twitter Blast with OB Book Tours
11th April – Author Interview at Mommy Adventures
12th April – Guest Post at The Bunny’s Review
13th April – Twitter Blast with OB Book Tours
14th April – Book Feature & Author Interview at The Reading Cat
15th April – Guest Post at Blog-A-Licious Authors
16th April – Book Feature & Author Interview at Author’s Friend
17th April – Guest Post at Kindle Nook Books
18th April – Book Feature at Paws on Books
19th April – Guest Post & Book Feature at Anya Breton‘s blog
20th April – Book Feature at Book Professor
21st April – Author Interview & Book Feature at Michael R McDuffee‘s blog
22nd April – Guest Post at Books Are Magic
23rd April – Author Interview & Book Review at Pages 2 Pages
24th April – Guest Post at Disincentive Reviews
25th April – Book Feature at Book Professor
26th April – Guest Post at Quality Reads
27th April – Author Interview at Fantasy Books
28th April – Book Feature at eInk Reviews
29th April – Book Feature at My Love for Books
30th April -Book Feature at Brainy Reads
1st May – Book Feature at Pages to Chapters
2nd May – Book Feature at Living for Books
3rd May – Orangeberry Pick of the Week & Sidebar
3rd May – Guest Post, Author Interview & Book Feature at Talisman Book Publishing
4th May – Book Feature at Gentleman Reads
5th May – Book Feature at Working For Books
6th May – Book Feature at My Love for Books
7th May – Book Feature at Aspiring Book Reviews
8th May – Book Feature at Reading My Addiction
9th May – Book Feature at Imagination in Books
10th May – Orangeberry Book of the Day – Gentleman Reads – Excerpt /
11th May – Author Interview at Up In Smoke
12th May – Guest Post at Richard Stephenson‘s blog
13th May – End of Tour Celebration post! at Flores Factor.
Blog Tour Giveaway!
This book tour will include the largest giveaway I’ve done to date. There will be some great prizes including: Signed Paperbacks, Free Paperbacks, Free eBooks, and an Amazon Gift card. This is hosted by Rafflecopter and there are multiple ways to enter. The giveaway will end on May 19th. Check back with the giveaway often because as more blogs post, more entries will be possible. In fact, you get five entries just by entering this GIVEAWAY CODE: “E.S.S. Australia”
You can find the Giveaway on my Facebook page: CLICK HERE FOR A DIRECT LINK
I can’t wait to see you all on the tour!
Today is Cyber Monday. That means that you are likely out looking for good deals on various gifts for others, and maybe even yourself.
What is a better deal then free?
For today only Dissolution of Peace will be free on your Kindle! You can pick up your free copy here: LINK
Yesterday I did my first KDP Free Promotion. For those that don’t know, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) has an option to sign up for KDP Select. This is a 90 day period where you allow Amazon (and by default Kindle) to be the only electronic form of your book sold. Some people balk at the exclusiveness this implies. But there are some pluses. You get to be part of the Kindle Prime Lending Library. This means that people can borrow your book for free and in return you get a part of the collective “pot” of money. I’ve not had any borrows yet. Some authors have told me that you get more borrows for higher priced books, since prime users can only borrow one book per month. I don’t know about that.
The other thing you get to do is pick five days per 90 day period to make your book free. You don’t have to do that. You don’t even have to pick the days when you publish your book. You can go back and set up your days when you want. You can do all five together or pick and choose a few days spread out. The choice is entirely up to you.
As you probably saw in yesterday’s post, I made Dissolution of Peace free in honor of Veterans day in the United States. It was free on all Amazon sites globally. I did this for two reasons. First, I wanted to see how well this KDP Free Promotions thing would work. Second, I have a special place in my heart for those that serve in the armed forces. It may even be why I enjoy writing military fiction. So I decided to honor those people in a way that was important to me.
The real question is, do promotions like this work?
Success is truly something only you can decide. But, I will show you what it did for me in just the one day since the promotion. You can decide from there if it could be successful for you.
I would also like to point out that I did not market my free book on anything other then this blog, my Twitter, and Facebook. I didn’t announce it on one the the many free eBook blogs. I just spread the word myself.
Getting Books in the Hands of Readers
The point in writing a book is to have it read. I’ve stressed that making money is not my goal in writing. My goal is to get readers and maybe get a few fans who want to read anything I write. So did the promotion get my book in the hands of readers. With out a doubt it is a huge success in that fashion.
In Amazon US, I had about 19 times more downloads yesterday then I have had since my book was released. Nineteen times more readers in one day then in the four weeks since my book was released.
In Amazon UK, I had 88 times more downloads yesterday then I have had since my book was released. The UK was phenomenal in this free promotion. I’ll get to more on that soon.
In Amazon Germany, I had 7 times more downloads yesterday then in the four weeks since it was released.
I even had my first download in Italy.
In comparison to other promotions I have done, this was by far the most successful. My own eBook giveaways resulted in only around 10 free eBooks being given away. This includes those sent to reviewers. But if I wanted to get more readers, this was certainly a great way to do it. They may not read it right away, I am sure there are people who just won’t pass up free, but there a whole lot more people with copies of my book now. This means there are a lot more people in the pool to write reviews, tell their friends, and look for future titles I release.
Creating Awareness of my Book
This is a really hard thing to do. Getting your book noticed by potential buyers is very hard for any author, especially the indie author. You are fighting an up hill battle with major authors, major publishers, and the rest of the indie market. It is not easy to be noticed.
One way to get noticed is on Amazon’s Best Seller Lists. The thing that always frustrated me about many “help” sites that talk about these best seller lists don’t let you know the secrets to getting on the lists. The truth is the secret is simply getting sales. But Amazon does one great thing here. The Best Seller Lists of the Top 100 eBooks sold is listed right next to the Top 100 Free eBooks. Number 5 in sales is right next to number 5 in free.
This means that when someone is looking for the best sellers on science fiction ebooks, they are also seeing the best sellers in free science fiction ebooks. You still have to get the downloads to get on the list, but you can get a lot of benefit once you get on the list. If nothing more than getting the cover of your book seen by more eyes.
I mentioned how great the UK was in this free promotion. The first time I checked my Amazon UK page yesterday was at 10:16 in the morning. My book had only been free for ten hours, which is a fair amount of time, especially considering the time difference. But at that point I was #48 on the Top 100 Free Science Fiction eBooks. And by the end of the promotion I was #19. In that time I had been on the same page as H. P. Lovecraft, Jules Vern, Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and more. I was even next to George R.R. Martin at one point. That is some good company to hang out with, even on a virtual level.
In the US, it was a slower start. This, in part, has to do with two factors. First, the US site has a much larger pool of shoppers. They include India, and many other places that don’t have their own sites. But, KDP free events also start at 12:01 am Pacific time. Right when most of the US is still asleep. But by 12:45 pm, twelve hours into the the promotion, I was on the top 100 list at number 61. And by the time it was over, I had made it to 28. So while the UK really came through on the Best Seller’s list, the US still put me along side the great names of Science Fiction past and present.
I would say that overall that is a successful way of gaining exposure to my book. I don’t know how many people browse the Top Sellers list. But I do know that I often look for books online this way. So overall even if I didn’t get downloads, people saw my book cover. And book covers are the brand image of books. Like all brands, the more the image is seen the more it becomes known and in some cases trusted.
You might be wondering where my book ranked at in the over all ranking for Free eBooks. In the US it was #779 and in the UK it was #425. Not bad considering how many thousands, probably millions, of books are on Amazon.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth advertising is probably some of the best. People often choose books based on the recommendations of friends and family. While I doubt anyone recommended my book the same day they downloaded it. I got far more downloads then I have Facebook, Twitter, and Blog followers. This means people had to hear about it from other people. So people were at least mentioning my book. I also noticed that many people were downloading my book in the US before it broke on to the top 100 list. So they had to find it some other way.
But this huge pool of new readers who downloaded my book will contribute to the word of mouth advertising that will continue to increase traffic to my book. And will hopefully increase my sales volume.
I don’t know if this will increase my reviews. Before the promotion I had two Amazon reviews, and one Amazon UK review. But, the increased reader pool also means an increased reviewer pool. So that has to cause a higher chance of being reviewed. But only time will tell on this.
Again, only time will tell on this. But my point has never been to get money. Some people see the free book giveaway as nothing but lost revenue. But to date, nothing has got Dissolution of Peace in the hands of more readers than the Amazon free promotion. I’ve never thought of writing as a way to make money. For me it is has been about readers, and maybe making enough money to cover the costs associated with publishing it. Would I complain if my book starts flying off the shelves? Of course not. That is the goal of most writers, but not for the sake of money but for the sake of the volume of readers.
From what I have heard from others, the sales will increase but that takes time.
I can’t really see it any other way. KDP has hit a home run with the idea of allowing authors five days to make the book free. And if you use those days through out your 90 day period as a promotional tool, you can really gather a lot of new readers. And many readers who might not have otherwise picked up your book. I’ll likely do another two or three of these free promotional things in the next few months. I see nothing but success here. And if I enjoyed this much success with limited announcement outlets, imagine if I branched out from my circle of followers.
Of course, many people are turned off be the exclusiveness of KDP Select. They feel like they are excluding a market of readers that use other eReaders. Personally I have had little request for ePub format. But, 90 days is a relatively short time. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to renew it. Personally I think it is worth a try.
One of the biggest reasons I enjoy writing and reading military science fiction is because I admire the things our troops do do keep me free to write and read whatever I want. It is easy to forget sometimes just how good we really have it.
Our troops go to places around the world, most of us would never visit. They have to see and deal with things most of us have never been a part of. They spend months and years away from their families. They do it all for minimal pay, and they do it all for us.
Dissolution of Peace, my debut novel, is centered around the military of the future. And to honor our troops, I have made the Kindle Version of Dissolution of Peace free for today only. Get one for yourself, send one to a loved one over seas, and share the link with the troops you know. The least I can do is give them a little entertainment while the serve their country.
Thank you to all the service men and women serving around the world for this country.